Various Coast Unified School District employees will be honored Thursday night when the Board of Trustees meets for the second time in eight days.
Teacher of the year Suzette Milam-Morrow, classified employee of the year Gustavo Mora and retiring staff members Rocky Fordyce, Vicki Mobley, Christy Lynch, Cyndi Klatt, Ron Garcia, Cheryl Seay, Cyndie Wilson and Grant Phillips will get justly deserved accolades, applause and thanks during the meeting that starts at 7 p.m. in the board room of the Old Cambria Grammar School, 1350 Main St.
The mood was different during a May 10 packed-house special meeting of the trustees when concerned and angry parents, teachers and others leveled sharp criticism at the board and Superintendent Vicki Schumacher.
Many of those objections centered on a proposed reduction of the teaching staff through the voluntary retirements and subsequent shifting around of 10 classroom teachers into other subjects and/or campuses.
Trustee Del Clegg said later in a phone interview that at the end of the long session the board unanimously opted to add a full-time employee at Leffingwell High School and increase to full time a half-time position at Santa Lucia Middle School. The board also authorized two staff-development training days to help the transferred teachers develop lesson plans for their new assignments.
The cuts and shifts are part of a cost-cutting effort at the district, Clegg said, adding that the schools’ combined student count now is 606, down from a high of 1,010 in the 1998-1999 school year.
He cited rising wages, pension and retirement costs, infrastructure repairs and a new expense of approximately $500,000 a year to fund education for students transferring to San Luis Coastal Unified School District as being among the factors that triggered this round of belt tightening.
At the Thursday meeting, trustees will consider the district’s reduced summer maintenance projects, hear year-end reports from several educational nonprofits and probably receive more public comment on the teacher reassignments and other issues. Trustees also may act on a memorandum of understanding between the district and California School Employees Association.
They’ll also be updated on the 2018 graduation schedule — June 6: 8:30 a.m., fifth-grade promotion, Cambria Grammar School; 1 p.m., Leffingwell High School; 6 p.m., Santa Lucia Middle School. On June 7, 1:30 p.m., Coast Union High School.